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Winter Music poster

Winter Music

Sunday 18 March 2018 at 15:00

About the Concert

A concert of music connected to winter to inspire. With guest artist, Shawn Potter on Organ.

The concert starts with Canadian composer, Murray Schafer’s, Snowforms. Inspired by a flight over Greenland and by Ontarian winters involving the “study [of] the snow from my farmhouse window” the work is a graphic score incorporating snow shapes, humming, improvisation and Inuit words connected with snow: apingaut (first snowfall); mauyk (soft snow); akelrorak (drifting snow); and pokaktok (snow like salt).

A Spotless Rose by Herbert Howells is a setting of an English translation of the 15th century German hymn Es ist ein Ros entsprungen. With references to a cold winter night, it talks about Mary and looks forward to the birth of Jesus.

The Hymn to the Creator of Light by John Rutter is work for double choir, written for the dedication of a stained glass window at Gloucester Cathedral in the memory of Herbert Howells. With three connected and contrasting sections, the work explores the idea of light.

The short choral song cycle, Un soir de neige was written in December 1944. The bleak texts contrast the beauty of nature with cold and death. The four movements are full of the interesting harmonies and chromatic progressions that characterize Poulenc’s style.

The centerpiece of the program is a complete performance of the Missa Brevis by Zoltan Kodèly, written in the basement of the Budapest Opera house in January 1945, only a few weeks after Poulenc’s Un soir de neige. As Budapest endured the Red army’s two month siege, life in the city was difficult and dangerous. However this work, dedicated to Zoltan’s wife Emma to mark 35 years of marriage, is full of joy and hope. The eight movements for choir and organ contain moments of solemnity and reflection alongside exuberance.


St. Joseph's Church, 174 Wilbrod St., Ottawa  Click here for location map >>


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